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Performance Tweaks

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The current version of Media Center Master is 2.14. Version 1.32 has been used for many the examples in the wiki, so beware that some of the options may be expanded or look different than various screen shots.

Official/Unofficial Wiki Pages Most of the content on the wiki was written by fans and users like yourself. If a page is marked as Official, then the content was written with official information (usually by the software author).


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Disclaimer: you perform these tweaks at your own risk. If you are not comfortable making changes to your system or the Windows system registry, then please do not do so. No assistance or support will be offered for you to adjust these settings; please only use this list as a reference. All of these tweaks require a restart for them to take effect.


Windows

For Client Workstations

This is the computer that Media Center Master and/or your favorite home theater software is installed to.

Increase Command Queue Limit For Network Shares

When lots of small request are made over the network using Windows shares (Samba/CIFS), this can sometimes cause network dropout if the Windows command queue limit is reached. This limit can be raised to improve network throughput, especially if you are running applications that perform more than 15 operations simultaneously (the default). Media Center Master can definitely exceed this limit with most digital media libraries.

Increase this number to its maximum of 255 by adjusting the following setting:

Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameter
Name MaxCmds
Value 255 (0xff in hex)

Applies To Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Home Server, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Details http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc938287.aspx


For Servers

This is the computer that serves files to Media Center Master and/or your home theater PCs. Often playing the role of just a file server, such as a NAS, it may also simply be another computer on your network or even the same computer that Media Center Master is on (if it is serving files to other computers on your network).

Increase I/O Stack Location Count

The default number of stack locations for I/O requests in Windows is typically 11 with a valid range of up to 20. If a system has many file system drivers or uses network transports that often flood the default locations, having more will typically increase throughput and prevent flooding from causing network dropouts.

Increase this number to its maximum of 20 by adjusting the following setting:

Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameter
Name IRPStackSize
Value 20 (0x14 in hex)

Applies To Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Home Server, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Details http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc957453.aspx


For Clients and Servers Both

Increase File System Memory Cache

Windows has a default size to its lists and memory thresholds for buffers that the kernel and device drivers create as caches for file system operations. Use this setting to substantially increase the amount of memory reserved for file system caching. The following command should be run from an elevated command prompt:

Command FSUTIL BEHAVIOR SET MEMORYUSAGE 2

Applies To Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Home Server, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Details http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc785435(WS.10).aspx


Disable Non-Media Network Throttling

This tweak will disable the throttling mechanism in Windows that controls both multimedia and non-multimedia traffic. From microsoft.com: "Because multimedia programs require more resources, the Windows networking stack implements a throttling mechanism to restrict the processing of non-multimedia network traffic to 10 packets per millisecond." This includes all non-multimedia traffic such as reading directory structures, checking for changes in XML files, etc. which can dramatically slow down Media Center Master.

You can disable the throttle entirely by setting the following Windows registry key:

Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\MultiMedia\SystemProfile
Name NetworkThrottlingIndex
Value 4,294,967,295 (0xffffffff in hex)

Applies To Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Home Server, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Details http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948066
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